September 2020 Newsletter
With two-thirds of 2020 now done, so many are trying to make the best of things, and often to make sense of things. We are among intersecting flows of COVID-19, systemic racism, and economic and social impacts. These things have caused life patterns and assumptions about day-to-day life to be disrupted and changed for many, at least for the near future and perhaps long term.

I hope that with time, healthy practices, and vaccines, COVID-19 can be managed and become much less of a serious health issue and risk for so many. COVID-19 has put the spotlight on a variety of problems and disparities that were already present, and some became much worse. I hope that economic recovery will include some fundamental changes to eliminate those disparities, and that racism’s hold on us and our society can loosen and be overcome.

A long standing, pre-COVID-19 observation about cycling and pedestrian advocacy across our nation is that there has not been enough attention and focus on the issues of those with the most needs. I think that it is accurate and that there is a long way to go toward strong diversity, equity, and inclusion. One place to start is the safety and welfare of those persons who walk and bicycle, especially when it is all or a large part of their essential transportation.  

So far this year more than 40 people have died while walking or cycling in Connecticut, almost all in crashes with motor vehicles. That doesn’t include the many people who were injured in crashes, and did not die from the injuries. Each person’s death is a tragedy, and last month it happened just a few hundred yards from the Bike Walk CT office on Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford when Luis Daniel Rodriguez was struck and killed while riding in an unprotected bike lane.
As we move toward the last part of 2020 and into 2021, there is the opportunity to renew and reinvigorate our important walking and cycling advocacy work, both at the local and state levels. I hope that the learnings from 2020 won’t be easily forgotten and that they can inform the priorities in our towns and cities, and at the state level. Later this fall and in early 2021 there will be the opportunity to participate in and influence the Connecticut legislative agenda for 2021. Please participate.

Bill Young
Bike Walk CT Board President
Walking & Biking To School
The COVID-19 pandemic makes this fall an incredibly difficult time for families with school-aged children. Many children won’t be stepping into classrooms for now, but those that are may need to find new ways to get to school. Helping your kids get to school by walking or biking is a great way to physically distance while getting exercise, enjoying the neighborhood, and avoiding the headache of the auto drop-off line.

Form a group! Organize a walking school bus or bike train
By NCDOTcommunications on flickrTaken 10 8 2014
Building a Bike Network in Cheshire
Beginning in the spring of 2018, Bike Cheshire started to work with Cheshire's town manager and police department on the ''Cheshire Village Bike Route Network.'' This is an ambitious plan to have a network of about forty miles worth of bike-friendlier streets linking all major residential neighborhoods with key locations throughout town including the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. Jim Jinks, Bike Cheshire executive director (and Bike Walk CT board member) said, ''we want kids and adults to someday feel as though they can pedal out of their driveway and get anywhere in town." 

The first through street for this project was completed recently. Mountain Road in Cheshire is a 2.7 mile, heavily traveled route with a 25 mph speed limit. The road is notorious in Cheshire for unsafe speeds and motor vehicle crashes. Sharrows were laid down about every one hundred feet in the center of each travel lane. Share the Road signs were also added at several points. ''The bike-friendly treatment looks great and we couldn't be more excited about expanding our ''bike route network'' further,'' Jinks said.
Staffing and Funding Bike Walk CT
People across the globe are walking and biking more, both for exercise and for transportation. Bike Walk CT works to make walking and biking safer and healthier statewide.

This spring, we made the difficult decision to lay off Susan Smith, our Executive Director and only staff person, as it became clear that our schedule of educational events and rides would not happen as planned this year, such as the Discover CT ride we had planned with our friends in Falls Village for this month.

We are hard at work planning events and educational opportunities for 2021. Since most of our funding comes from individuals, your support is critical to improving Connecticut’s streets. If you are able, please make a donation or join as a member today.
We also have board member positions opening up in the coming months. If you are interested in serving on our board, you can reach out to Board President Bill Young ( to learn more about what being a board member entails. All inquiries are welcome!
Upcoming Events
Take Action
  • Donate
  • Join as a member
  • Volunteer for events (in 2021!)
  • Consider board membership
  • Put your feet on the sidewalk or your tires on the road: get out there and experience CT by biking and walking